Ah, the holidays. Our wallets get thinner as our waists get thicker. Our excuses for inhaling seasonal grub are numerous. From just letting it all hang out to giving yourself a well-earned break from all of the six-pack dieting that took over your Instagram account.
But I’m not here to rectify your mental state and bring you back to sanity. No. I’m here to give you 5 tough fat-torching workouts to burn the added blubber and get you on the road to dietary recovery.
The following 5 routines are designed to burn fat and add a little muscle and strength. They can be used to supplement your current routines, as standalone workouts, or cardio alternatives. Try one or rotate all 5 to fit your preferences, equipment availability, and intensity/experience level.
1. The At-Home Bodyweight Blast
The most convenient form of any exercise is one that you can do practically anywhere with little-to-no equipment. Additionally, if it does require equipment, it’s minimal and inexpensive.
Home workouts are a top trend as of late and for good reason. You don’t have to spend money on a gym membership, you don’t have to wait on anything, and you never have to cringe when you enter the locker room.
The at-home bodyweight blast checks all of the requisite boxes and then some. I must warn you, working out from home is wonderful, but requires greater discipline regarding all of the conveniences and distractions you’re exposed to.
Do it: Perform all exercises circuit style (no rest between moves). Once you’ve run through all of the exercises, take a 2 to 3 minute break before starting the next circuit. If you find that you can do more than the listed rep ranges then simply use that as your new benchmark. Perform 4 to 6 rounds of 10 to 15 reps each.
|Plyometric Push Up||10-15|
2. The Metcon Punisher
The term metcon has been used in abundance lately. The term (short for metabolic conditioning) can actually be applied to all of the included routines listed here, but let’s take it a step further and really get down to testing your grit. Metcons are designed to rev up your metabolism long after your workout is finished. You are simply conditioning your metabolism a certain way so you can burn more fat even at rest.
Do it: Perform the following workout as the one above is listed (as a circuit with little rest), but here you will progress on each exercise and seriously test your muscular endurance. Instead of alternating between upper and lower body exercises, you will tax a certain main area before moving on. Shoot for 4 to 6 rounds of 10 to 15 reps each with 2 to 3 minutes of rest between each round.
|Feet-Elevated Diamond Push Up||10-15|
|Floor Push Up||10-15|
|Push Up w/ Hands on Bench||10-15|
|Foot-Elevated Bulgarian Split Squat||10-15|
|Jump Squat or Box Jump||10-15|
|Wide-Grip Pull Up||10-15|
|Close-Grip Pull Up||10-15|
3. Kettlebell Chaos
The age-old kettlebell has made a comeback that looks to stick around for a while. This versatile piece of equipment is not only portable and convenient, but also inexpensive and adaptable to virtually any situation. Its unbalanced center requires you to work twice as hard at stabilizing and balancing the load. This translates to a more efficient and effective workout. Performing a fat-burning, kettlebell-only workout can be quick and uncomplicated while giving you fast results.
Related: 4 Week Beginner Kettlebell Workout
Do it: As always, you will perform the following in circuit style with 10 to 15 reps and 4 to 6 rounds. Be sure when using any explosive movements with the kettlebell that you keep the weight under control and always use proper form. Keep your whole body tight and don’t allow your back to round or swinging the bell too loosely.
|Front Single Arm Swing||10-15|
|Single-Arm Clean and Press||10-15|
|Renegade Row w/ Other Hand on Floor||10-15|
|Single Arm Overhead Squat||10-15|
4. The Single Dumbbell Solution
Much like the single kettlebell workout above, the options of a single dumbbell are endless. Some gyms (believe it or not) aren’t equipped with the modern tools of fitness such as TRX suspension trainers, kettlebells, and bands. So, the trick is to find a great fat-burning workout with a single dumbbell. Why? It’s easy to try at home, a crowded gym, or if you just want to try something new and creative.
Do it: You know the drill by now; circuit style, 10 to 15 reps, 4 to 6 rounds with 2 to 3 minutes of rest between each round. It must be stressed that the key isn’t to reach muscular failure – these aren’t strictly muscle-building programs. The trick is to keep a good pace and challenge yourself to stoke your metabolism and burn more fat.
|Staggered Push Up (one hand grasping the DB)||10-15|
|Single Arm DB Clean and Press||10-15|
|Weighted Leg Lift||10-15|
|Single-Arm Overhead Lunge||10-15|
|Single-Arm Curl and Press (switch hands each rep)||10-15|
5. The Old Schooler
The preceding routines all have their merit and personal preferences, but sometimes all you need are the basics. The “old-school” bodyweight exercises that have never died and never will. Moves like push-ups, chin-ups, and dips are all not only functional and practical, but also tax the body in such a way that they develop a “true strength” in your body. What good is it to be able to bench press or curl a ton of weight yet not be able to perform a proper push-up or pull-up?
Do it: Here, you will perform this circuit a little differently than the rest. To keep your interest and to inject something new, you will choose a set number of reps for each move. Next you will perform as many reps of the first exercise as possible with perfect form before moving onto the next exercise. There you will also perform as many reps as possible.
Keep rotating through all of the exercises until all reps for each exercise are completed. You may want to adjust reps for each exercise based on how proficient you are at each. For example, you may be able to crank out 40 push-ups but only 10 pull-ups at a time.
|Push Up (Floor or Feet-Elevated)||AMRAP|
|Single Leg Lunge||AMRAP|
|Pull Up or Inverted Row||AMRAP|
|Bowydweight Squat or Box Jump||AMRAP|
|Parallel Bar Dip||AMRAP|
|Incline Bench Sit Up||AMRAP|
Are you ready to take on one (or more) of these workouts? Share your results in the comments!